Workers’ Compensation

Preparing for a Workers' Compensation Hearing

When an initial decision on your workers’ compensation claim appears unfair, you have the right to request a hearing with the workers’ compensation commissioner. A hearing is a formal matter and requires proper conduct and preparation.  Most injured workers have never participated an administrative hearing, and the process can be intimidating without a knowledgeable party on your side. Working with an attorney can calm your nerves and help you prepare for your hearing.  Supporting Documents and Evidence to Bring to Your Hearing  Once you file your request for a hearing, you should start building your case immediately. The commissioner or deputy commissioner should have copies of the documentation already filed, but it’s always a good idea to have your own copies of your injury report, ... Read More »

Stages of a Workers' Compensation Appeal

When a workers’ compensation claim is rejected or denied, you have the right to appeal the decision with the workers’ compensation commissioner’s office. While this process seems straightforward, there are several stages of action between starting an appeal and obtaining a new decision which can take months to complete. An attorney can be your advocate during this time and assist you through all the stages of the appeal.  Appealing a Workers’ Comp Claim Decision  The Iowa Workforce Development department suggests that an employee who feels his claim was unfairly decided should dispute the matter first with his employer and the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.  If negotiations with these parties do not yield results, or you feel the result was unfair, it is advised that ... Read More »

Common Injuries in the Construction Industry

Anyone who has worked in the construction industry knows it’s tough work — and often dangerous. Powerful equipment, fast-paced environments, outdoor exposure and dangerous conditions all increase the risk of a serious or fatal injury.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) points out the “fatal four” — the four most common fatal accidents construction workers suffer each year. In 2011, the following events caused nearly three out of five construction worker deaths:  falls (35 percent); struck by object (10 percent); electrocutions (9 percent); and caught in or between an object (2 percent).  Workplace Safety Violations Often Lead to These Common Injuries  Preventing common workplace injuries begins with your employer. Providing a safe working environment is a requirement of all Iowa employers to improve worker ... Read More »

Foot Injuries in the Workplace

Many workplaces have requirements for proper footwear, and it’s with good reason. Protective gear is your first level of prevention of foot injuries at work. In the event an injury does occur – whether acute or one that develops over time – workers can seek medical and disability benefits through workers’ comp. Medical benefits pay for treatment costs, while disability benefits can replace a portion of lost income during recovery.  Types of Foot Injuries and the Jobs Most at Risk  When you hear the words “foot injury,” you may think of sudden accidents such as being crushed by a falling object. There are actually two types of foot injuries: those that occur abruptly from an accident and those that develop over time through exertion.  Abrupt ... Read More »

Obtaining Compensation for Work-Related Arm Injuries

Arm injuries, which can include anything from sprains to shattered bones, can quickly put a stop to your normal daily function. Depending upon the nature and severity of your injury, you could be out of work for some time, which will undoubtedly pinch your finances. For this reason, workers’ compensation was created.  Types of Arm Injuries Workers May Sustain  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median days away from work among workers who injure their arms was 17 days in 2008. Some occupations are associated with a much longer time off of work after injury, for example, construction workers miss a median of 45 days of work after an arm injury.  Types of arm injuries that workers suffer on the job:  cuts and ... Read More »

Recognizing the Signs of a Neck Injury

Neck injuries are not uncommon; over 16,000 workers reported a neck injury in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some are relatively minor injuries such as strains, whereas others are much more severe, such as a herniated disc or nerve damage.  Because neck injuries tend to worsen over time if left untreated, it’s essential to schedule a medical exam for diagnosis and to determine the extent of the injury.  Recognizing the Signs of a Neck Injury  There are several signs that you may have a neck injury, such as:  dull aching; spasms; swelling; stiffness; headaches; shoulder pain; mild to severe neck pain; tingling or numbness in arms; reduced range of motion and flexibility; dizziness; and burning or stinging pain.  What type of neck ... Read More »

Restaurant Employees Injured on the Job in Iowa: Workplace Injuries & Legal Rights

Restaurant kitchens are a perfect setting for injuries. They are landscapes full of sharp utensils, slick floors, hot ovens, and workers rushing around to fill orders. When shift managers, chefs, line cooks, wait staff, dishwashers, or any other employee is injured on the job, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, as outlined by the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation.  Restaurants Pose Numerous Hazards  From five star restaurants to mom and pop burger joints, restaurant workers face workplace hazards on a daily basis.  Some of the dangers that cause injuries on the job include:  falling equipment; wet, greasy floors; knives, slicers, choppers; boiling liquids and hot grease; fryers and steam tables; burners and flattop grills; trash compactors and box balers; performing tasks in a hurry ... Read More »

What rate does work comp pay for mileage in Iowa?

The current rate that work comp pays for mileage in Iowa is set at 56.5 cents per mile. When someone develops an illness or suffers an injury related to work duties, workers’ compensation benefits help pay for medical costs and partial income. But work comp also pays for mileage as injured Iowa workers travel to medical appointments.  Bear in mind that reimbursement rates vary by year. You can check the status of mileage reimbursements through the IRS or the General Services Administration (GSA).  Qualifying for Mileage Reimbursement under Workers’ Compensation  Benefits include not only payment for care and treatment but also expenses for traveling to and from medical appointments. There are certain requirements that workers must meet to recover reimbursement for mileage.  For instance, the ... Read More »

Iowa Workman’s Comp Benefits for Torn Rotator Cuff Injuries

Damage to the tendons or muscles of the rotator cuff, located in the shoulder, can result in a tear. This type of work injury could happen suddenly, such as when bracing oneself during a fall. Or it could be the result of repetitive lifting, such as stacking items on high shelves. Whatever the cause, if it stems from work-related tasks in Iowa, workman’s comp benefits for the torn rotator cuff could be available.  How might a rotator cuff tear affect a worker?  If the tear happens suddenly, the worker will likely experience severe pain. Sometimes the person may feel a snapping sensation. There could be immediate weakness in the shoulder, too.  When a tear occurs over a period of time, pain may gradually increase, which ... Read More »

What to Look for to Hire a Lawyer after an Injury at a Workplace in Iowa

When a workers’ comp claim becomes complicated, it’s been wrongly denied, a worker receives an incorrect disability rating, or there are other significant issues, it may be time to hire an attorney. Work injury cases have unique laws, so it’s important to know what to look for if you want to hire a lawyer for an injury at the workplace in Iowa.  Important Considerations When Deciding to Hire a Work Comp Attorney  There are distinct laws that apply to workman’s compensation cases. Because of this, it’s obviously important to hire an attorney who is familiar with them.  Another factor to consider when seeking help from an attorney is familiarity with injuries or illnesses that may arise out of employment. This doesn’t mean the attorney should ... Read More »

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